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Vietnam has strong reasons to hold on to Kampuchea, despite military and economic burdens

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For Vietnam, the political, economic and security reasons for continuing the more than three year old occupation of Kampuchea outweigh considerable economic disadvantages.

This is why Hanoi appears to have no intention of withdrawing its army from its small Asian neighbor despite intense pressure from China, the United States, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), according to analysts here.

Thus the current flurry of diplomatic activity aimed at seeking a political solution to the question of Kampuchea (Cambodia) seems unlikely to break the present deadlock.

The United Nations General Assembly has three times unsuccessfully demanded that Vietnam withdraw its troops from Kampuchea. Vietnam has refused even though its economy is hurting, partly because it has to divest resources from domestic uses to support its military presence in Kampuchea.

Vietnam has offered to withdraw its troops from Kampuchea if Thailand withdraws its support from pro-China Khmer Rouge guerrillas and if China ''stops being hostile'' toward Vietnam.

In the latest diplomatic rounds, Vietnam's foreign minister Ngyen Co Tach is expected to visit France, Sweden and other European countries next month. UN Secretary General Perez de Cuellar is about to send Refeuddin Ahmed, his special representative for humanitarian affairs in Southeast Asia, to Bangkok, Singapore , Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Jakarta, Vientiane, Hanoi, Peking, Tokyo, and possibly Moscow in an exploratory bid.

Several foreign ministers from the ASEAN countries (Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines) have recently visited Peking. ''But all these past and future meetings amount to no more than to a dialogue of the deaf,'' says one informed Asian ambassador.

''China's commitment to the Khmer Rouge (ousted by Vietnam after holding power from 1975 to 1979) only strengthens Vietnam's resolve to stay there,'' according to a high Western official who has kept in close touch with the situation. This official and other senior diplomats who have been involved in seeking a political solution to the Kampuchean question, see these factors behind Vietnam's insistence on maintaining dominance in Kampuchea and in Laos:

* For security. Hanoi sees these countries as buffer states much in the way the East European countries are supposed to shield the USSR's western flank.


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